Thursday, 18 February 2010

The Sound that Stood the Test of Time

A very special LP is shared with you today, one that has stood the test of time - much like the Castle Lager beer slogan. It features some of the last recordings made by Chris McGregor in South Africa before departing for exile. Soon after the festival McGregor put together a prize winners band that recorded the LP Jazz: The African Sound. Try inconstant sol for more details The annual festivals - of which performances from the 1962 and 1964 concerts have been issued on record - were sponsored by Castle Lager, keen to win more customers and leveraging the link between beer, drinking, shebeens and jazz. The 1962 concert and this LP collects many of the top jazz bands of the day. Whilst many of the performances are middle of the road jazz covers it is the tracks by Chris McGregor and Eric Nomvete (featuring Dick Khoza on drums) that stand out. In 1964 Castle cancelled any future festivals apparently due to gang rivalry and the inability of the organisers to guarantee the safety of the crowds.

1. When the Saints Come Marching In - The Chris McGregor Septet
2. Blues Story - The Chris McGregor Septet
3. I Like That - The Chris McGregor Septet
4. Let The Good Times Roll - Ben Masinga
5. This Can't Be Love - The Woody Woodpeckers
6. A Baptist Beat - The Jazz Giants
7. Kentucky Oysters - The Jazz Dazzlers
8. I Got Rhythm - Ben Masinga
9. String of Pearls - The Woody Woodpeckers
10. What is There to Say? - The Jazz Ambassadors
11. Pondo Blues - Eric Nomvete's Big Five



  1. Outstanding! I have been looking for this a long time, and can't tell you enough what a great thing you are doing by making this unjustifiably obscure music available. Thank you!!! -MB

  2. Wow! Just got to be fantastic! Thanks lots.

  3. Interesting, I have the Gallo cd reissue from the mid-90s but I've never seen what the original cover looked like. I'll check later to see if there's anything extra on the cd but probably not; Gallo didn't really add any bonus tracks to any of their reissues which included The African Sound, the Gideon Nxumalo, the 2 Jazz in Africa records with John Mehegan, the 2 Mariam Makeba and the Skylarks, King Kong, etc ...

  4. Hyperventilatingly great! I will treasure this. Thanks.

  5. Thought I'd add this: There is a rich eyewitness (and earwitness) description of some of the scene at the 1962 Cold Castle Festival in Gwen Ansell's book Soweto Blues.

    Read it here.

  6. Thanks a bunch. -- Murf

  7. Been spending a lot of time with this since downloading; it really is a magnificent album. Thanks again. -- Murf

  8. I cant wait to listen to this one
    And thanks for the MF links!

    wuod k

  9. Holy Moses! Did I say thanks?

  10. Sweet music! Thank you very much!

  11. Thank you for mentioning Eric Nomvete and his achievements in your post. Would you please let me know where I can purchase this album featuring Pondo Blues by Eric Nomvete? I am a relative of Eric. He was my father's brother; that makes him my uncle. He passed away near Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape. And his wife, Dorothy, passed on in March, 2010. So, thank you for this timely publication!

  12. The track Pondo Blues is available on this compilation Soweto Blues:

  13. Thanks a lot for this excellent album. I had bought several Gallo re-issue around 2001/2002 but never found this one.
    Your website is awesome!


  14. The original artwork for this album can be seen here:
    The artwork shown here at EJ is of the As-Shams/Rashid Vally re-issue.
    Thanks for sharing this great album.

  15. Fantastic...!
    this site & this rare post -- even the disc flaws & cliks sound great...!
    I'll be searching thru the site for other similar polished or unpolished precious gems, & will be checking all new posts from now on.

    Muchas Gracias


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